At the end of 2017, Dell is updating the technical part of its ultraportable XPS 13, but that does not prevent the American manufacturer from proposing a new version for this beginning of the year 2018. The new XPS 13 does not change in depth, but there are still some important developments to improve the performance of eighth generation Intel processors while providing better autonomy and reducing overall size.
4K UHD or FULL HD
You can choose between different versions with a classic or touch screen as well as a 4K UHD or Full HD 1080p resolution. Dell claims to have corrected the problem of color shift at maximum brightness, so the 4K UHD version will still have 100% sRGB color at 400 nits (the full HD display is only 72% sRGB). The webcam is always positioned at the bottom, but at least it is centered, and it has an infrared sensor to connect with facial recognition. You can also choose a fingerprint reader in the power button.
A design that gains finesse
Like its predecessor, the XPS 13 is equipped with a machined aluminum CNC body platinum silver with a black carbon fiber wrist rest, but it is connected by a new rose gold model with white woven fiberglass wrist rests. Fiberglass is laminated for added strength, but remains light and soft to the touch and is coated to prevent yellowing.
The materials are sturdy, but the weight is reasonable with 1.2 kilograms on the scale. To reduce chassis thickness to 11.6 mm, Dell has removed conventional USB ports in favor of two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports and a USB-C 3.1 port. All of these USB-C ports can be used to charge or power the laptop. Finally, there is also a slot for microSD card.
A brand new cooling system for better performance
Dell doubled the number of heat pipes and fans and used Gore thermal insulation (a first for laptops) that helps remove heat from the device instead of sending it to the laptop's chassis. Cooling system improvements have helped Dell improve component performance while reducing heat output.
Despite better performance, Dell says the XPS 13 offers almost 20 hours of autonomy with a Full HD screen or up to 11 hours with a 4K screen. Of course, the actual battery life will certainly be lower, but we have crossed the 12-hour mark in our online video streaming test with the late 2017 version.
Several configurations are available from 1 349 €:
- Quad Core Intel i5-8250U or i7-8550U eighth generation processor
- 4 GB or 8GB RAM (1.866MHz) or 16GB RAM (2.133MHz)
- 128GB SATA SSD or 256GB, 512GB or 1TB PCIe SSD
- Intel UHD Graphics 620 Intel UHD
- Killer 1435 802.11ac (2x2) or Intel 8265 802.11ac (2x2) both with Bluetooth 4.1